By Connie Kwan
China’s announcement of their $4 billion yuan stimulus package for GreenTech last year cast the spotlight on GreenTech overaseas. Due to lack of existing infrastructure, the adoption of GreenTech can happen much faster overseas than in the US. How can investors participate in this booming sector? This was the question explored at Greening the BRIC, a panel discussion at the GoingGreen Silicon Valley conference yesterday. The panel featured partners at venture firms with overseas offices. My main takeaway for investors looking to participate in GreenTech overseas is to set up a joint venture with a local investor. Each country has its own unique infrastructure characteristics. India has excellent cell phone coverage, yet 30-40% of India has no access to electricity. Brazil focuses heavily on biomass and biofuels. Most multinational Chinese companies are at least partially state owned. In short, investing overseas can be complicated. A joint venture with a local investor who understands the ins and outs of the locality is key to overseas investment success. For larger investment firms, creating a nationally ambiguous presence through a joint venture can be very beneficial especially for interfacing with local partners and authorities.
Connie Kwan is a Marketing and Product Management professional. She is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at Presidio Graduate School and blogs about sustainability and business at Sustainable Thinking: Applied.